A report on the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act featuring Paul Paez

One of the reasons this foundation started was to fight against health insurance injustices. Part of that was, and is, fighting to keep the Affordable Care Act in place and build to make it even stronger.

While I will not address the various arguments and downright lies against the law, suffice to say, they have no merit and proof of that is the report Health Access dot org put together to celebrate the one year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Health Access was founded in 1987, and is the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition advocating for quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

Here is the report: ACA One Year Report 3-23-11

My husband, Paul, is featured in the report to highlight the need for the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Pool or high risk pool. Paul has Multiple Sclerosis. Paul was ousted from his job at Fidelity Investments just after he finished chemotherapy.

A year without income left us unable to afford our COBRA payments. Paul is without insurance.

Going without insurance when you are sick is what happens in this country. It kills people and burdens our system. Paul has been without care for five months now, was turned down for coverage by Blue of California and must wait one more month before he can even apply to the new high risk pool.

Yes, there is a bizarre and draconian provision in the new law (thanks to the Senate Finance Committee) that states applicants to the pool must go without insurance for six months prior to applying for coverage. It does not make any sense at all and we have been doing everything we can to call attention to this issue and have asked our lawmakers to simply change this.

Truthout dot org ran a story on this very issue and called on our lawmakers to rid the law of this provision. But our lawmakers are too busy trying to do things like undermine public school teachers and defund NPR to pay attention to real matters–like the economy, health care and jobs. That would be the GOP portion of our lawmakers. When presented with facts like these below, the GOP all put their collective heads in the sand and cry something about taxes. Shameful as real Americans face real problems. Please read the report and know that we still have a long way to go, but this is a start.

During those six months, these individuals could become too sick to work. They may never return to work or pay taxes again, leaving them on the unemployment and disability rolls, or they may go bankrupt or have foreclosed homes: three problems that we know are already bedeviling our economy. These are very real possibilities, because an astounding 62 percent of bankruptcies and 23 percent of foreclosures in this country are due to medical bills.